Thursday, June 5, 2008

A long day of Limerick golf (Limerick Co., Rathbane, Castletroy)

I was out with the greensmen again at Limerick County, and a couple of young families too. On 17 I encountered a pair of swans and cygnets on the pond, and a duck with her ducklings playing around on the edges (see pic). It has to be said that little things like this really add to a round of golf. I also saw a fox on 13 – heading for the 17th!

Limerick County is a fine parkland track, with its own private beach on 18. It’s meant to be a bunker, but at 80 yards long it looks like you should play in it, not play out of it. It is an adventurous course that delivers fun and excitement on every hole, but the clubhouse is a different matter. I don’t have a degree in contortionism but you’ll need one to figure out how to get into the toilet cubicles… It’s an open the door, step over the loo, lean back, try not to fall over and close the door kind of thing. [Photo: downhill approach to Index 1 5th]

After a long chat with Gerry, the Manager, I discovered that 17 and 18 are to be changed, to allow the 18th to return to a par five. It will make for a fine finish.

Rathbane passed quickly by – a municipal course that feels like a clock face with holes shooting out in all different directions.

Next was Castletroy and Eddie Connaughton’s design work is looking spectacular on a suburban golf course. True, it was a sunny day, but the course just looked perfect and trees seemed to be positioned effortlessly, both to look good and to frustrate. I had a couple of interesting encounters. First, I was invited to play with three young lads (mid teens), Donal, Kevin and Rory, for one hole. They then said to play through, but with all the three balls ahead it was pointless.

[Photo: the superb par three 14th at Castletroy with water around the green]

They were an entertaining and bickering trio who know how to push each other’s buttons – especially Kevin. Donal guessed that I was writing a book and from then on they were determined to get themselves into the book, no matter what. I was told – not by Kevin I might add – that Kevin had just won a Senior School’s Rugby medal with Castletroy School. He’s only in 4th Year, so who knows, we may see him in later years playing for the mighty Munster. Rory was the quiet one, and Donal, a leftie, has the most outrageous handicap of 15. The boy can hit the ball. He had a birdie putt on 15 and then chipped in for a birdie on 16. “Put that in your book,” he said. I will add that the 15 handicap is for Lahinch. And if you read this guys, you’re in the book. Happy now?

[Photo: Donal drives off the impressive 17th par four]

1 comment:

  1. Donal O'Sullivan here.I just saw ur blog there.I can't believe you actually are putting us into your book haha!!! You definitely have at least1 buyer........